Ep. 34: Cristin Kist & Jeff Gritman – Writing Your Way into Self-Publication

Today’s Dream Chasers are Cristin Kist and Jeffrey Gritman. Friends for more than 20 years, Cristin and Jeff started writing 5 years ago. From the beginning it was clear they had a passion for pop culture, science fiction and all things geeky, so the stories they were drawn to were, naturally, in the same vein. In today’s chat with Aimee J., Cristin and Jeff discuss how a story evolved from a concept into a multi-volume book series, and how they manage to stay focused on their dreams in spite of having super busy schedules. They share their passion for writing, telling stories, and making people life, and how this propels them towards their dream of being full time writers.

TWEET: Discovering your #passion and going after it with everything you’ve got, on this episode

Discovering a passion for writing.

Cristin and Jeff are both avid writers on their own. But together, they craft unique and hilarious stories that attract a wide audience. They explain how the “Prison Dad” storyline was born and why they originally intended for it to be a TV series. Cristin and Jeff also share why they ended up opting for a book series they self-published through Amazon. They discuss the character development as well as the original idea behind the main character. Cristin and Jeff offer insight into how pop culture inspires them to craft stories for the Prison Dad series.

The evolution of a story from original concept to published book.

In the beginning, the main character in the Prison Dad books was older and more “grizzled” than he ended up being. For Cristin and Jeff, this evolution into a younger, more relatable, although still grizzled in his own way, made sense to them and why they chose to make this shift. The writing process is unique when dealing with 2 authors, but because of the close friendship they share Cristin and Jeff are able to work together to find a balance and discover the true path of the characters.

TWEET: Being diligent with your time and maintaining balance while growing your #dreams

Maintaining balance in a busy life.

Cristin and Jeff are chasing their dreams – that much is clear. What’s not clear though is how they manage to maintain balance in their lives while they still work full time. Finding a way to make the time for family, career, friends, and writing can be tough. Cristin explains how Jeff keeps them on task and how he helps to manage their time so they maintain focus on writing, along with their other priorities. They also discuss their podcast, Silly Talks about Science Fiction and what inspired them to create the show.

The role of networking in growing an audience.

As they close out their chat with Aimee J., Cristin and Jeff offer insight into their decision to self-publish versus going with a publishing company. They also discuss the benefits of doing this and the feeling that they had more control over the process by doing it themselves. Cristin and Jeff give insight into the importance of networking and how they’ve tapped into their expansive network to have book signings and grow their audience. In closing, Cristin and Jeff give their one tip to fellow dream chasers.

TWEET: Fear keeps you from reaching your dreams. Be brave. Even trying is a success ~ Cristin Kist


  • [0:51] Introduction of Cristin Kist and Jeffrey Gritman.
  • [2:34] How Cristin and Aimee connected.
  • [3:57] How Cristin and Jeffrey met each other in high school, and how the relationship evolved from there.
  • [5:05] Their love of watching movies and talking about them.
  • [5:55] How they started writing together and found their true passion.
  • [7:40] Their background in writing/English.
  • [9:18] The creation of the Prison Dad book series.
  • [11:53] How long after you had the idea did you write the first book?
  • [14:33] The original idea for Prison Dad – did they want to write a book?
  • [16:43] How many volumes do you expect there to be for Prison Dad?
  • [17:21] Are there any other books you’re writing?
  • [18:56] Where do you find the time to write with having full time jobs, a family, and a social life?
  • [20:47] Cristin and Jeff’s podcast.
  • [23:18] The experience of being on the panel of the ChessieCon.
  • [27:02] The process of self-publishing and why they decided to go this route versus having a publisher.
  • [31:26] How do you figure out what the next step is?
  • [34:54] What is one thing you would share with another dream chaser?


If you want to be a writer, you must write every day.


Fear keeps you from reaching your dreams. Be brave. Even trying is a success.



Facebook: www.facebook.com/prisondad

iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/prisondadpodcast

Prison Dad, Volume 1

Prison Dad, Volume 2

Prison Dad, Volume 3


TWEET: The benefits of #SelfPublishing a book, versus using a publisher, on this episode of #ChasingDreams

TWEET: If you’re a writer, you must write every single day ~ Jeffrey Gritman

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